I hardly ever cook dinners these days that aren’t one dish entrees. It’s not that I don’t like dinners with side dishes, I just really like the simplicity of my meals being one complete dish (USUALLY it means less clean up is involved). I also have a big issue with food touching that shouldn’t be (you know, like gravy spilling out of your mashed potato boat and getting all over your green beans? Ick). All said, I found a side dish recipe that I found worthy of my time since I had some salmon and asparagus I wanted to make for dinner: Quinoa Risotto.
The ingredients sound really weird but I have to say, this was an excellent side dish! It had tons of flavor and Branden and I both scarfed down a second helping (it reheats well too the next day!).
Don’t expect this to be super creamy like rice risotto but definitely cook it with the same method and you won’t be disappointed!
- 1 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
- 6 c. water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. butter
- 1 1/2 c. finely chopped Oso Sweet or other sweet onion
- 2 TBS white wine vinegar
- 3 TBS crème fraîche
- 3 TBS chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.
Combine 6 cups water, salt, thyme, and bay leaf in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook 5 minutes; discard thyme and bay leaf. Keep warm over low heat.
Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add quinoa; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add warm seasoned water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of warm seasoned water is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in vinegar. Spoon 2/3 cup risotto into each of 6 small bowls or plates; top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons crème fraîche. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons hazelnuts.